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Let's Encrypt Free SSL Certificate

Introduced in 2016, Let's Encrypt is a non-profit and open Certificate Authority (CA). You can request free 90-day SSL certificates (including wildcard & multi-domain certificates) from Let's Encrypt to enable https for websites/web apps.

How does Let's Encrypt Free SSL Certificate compare with Paid Certificates?

Domain Control Validation Methods

Based on the method you choose to request the certificate, Let's Encrypt has a fixed method of domain control validation (DCV or DV) to prove domain ownership and if you cannot validate using that method, you cannot get the certificate. Paid certificates offer upto 3 different DCV method options via Email/File/DNS to choose from and Email is the most convenient. see details

Site Seal

Let's Encrypt does not provide a verifiable Site Seal for display on your website like the Comodo one at the bottom-right of this page. Studies show 69% of online shoppers look for websites that display trust symbols.

Warranty

Let's Encrypt certificates do not include a warranty against mis-use or mis-issuance. The paid commercial SSL certificates include a relying-party warranty that covers losses of customers caused by failure of the certificate while transacting with your website.

Validity Period

Let's Encrypt certificates are only valid for 90 days and must be renewed/re-issued and setup once again on the website/web server before the previous certificates expire. The paid SSL certificates are valid for one year.

Support

Let's Encrypt does not offer assistance with requesting SSL certificates. Only community help is available for any problems encountered. It is best suited to experienced web server admins who do not need support to generate the certificates or who can automate generation and install of the 90-day certificates. This can be an issue for businesses that are just starting out with using SSL certificates, and need to quickly equip their business sites with an SSL. We provide support to generate and re-issue paid SSL certificates available on our website.

Who should go for Let's Encrypt SSL certificates?

Both Let's Encrypt and paid SSL certificates will do the encryption job that is expected of them in order to protect your sites against interception and eavesdropping.

Your choice will be determined by the type of site you manage, which in turn defines security requirements:

  • If you own a simple personal site, a blog or a photo gallery, or just need a quickly configurable, simple and free SSL certificate that you can obtain with minimum effort purely for Google SEO improvement, then Let's Encrypt is a free option you can use.
  • If you are an Mobile App developer and want to test connectivity and functionality between your mobile app and your web app server during the development period before launching your solution online, then using Let's Encrypt may be the right choice.
  • If you are setting up a temporary website, or a website just for market testing, then using a free certificate from Let's Encrypt will save you some cost.
  • If you need a temporary certificate for your business website since the previous paid one has expired.
  • If you are a server admin and you can use the server-side automation client software, then you can automatically request and maintain Let's Encrypt certificates for domains hosted on your web server.

If you operate an online store, or a business website/blog where you accept user registrations/payments/subscriptions, then you will need to invest in a paid, warranty-backed SSL certificate with a verifiable Site Seal issued by an established CA.

Paid certificates are not at all expensive. view options

Current Offers on Paid SSL Certificates

Automatic 10% New Website Discount on ANY certificate for a first-time order for a domain. No discount code required.

Buy and activate a PositiveSSL or Essential SSL certificate and get 10% off any new SiteLock Website Malware Scanner subscription.
*Coupon valid for one-time use on 1st year of subscription.

Activate a CodeGuard Premium plan subscription and get 10% off a PositiveSSL Wildcard certificate purchase.